May 12, 2006

Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?

Articles infringing on my Christian pop culture territory appear in newspapers and magazines every day. Nine times out of a ten I don't sweat it, since they're usually boring, ill-informed or both.

The tenth time is when I find something like Matt Labash's saavy and hilarious What Would Jesus Rap? in the new Weekly Standard. Riding shotgun with evangelical rapcore band Junkyard Prophet, Labash captures everything that is so preposterous and compelling about Christian rock. This is the kind of thing I'm hoping to accomplish, if from a different perspective, so it kind of freaks me out when someone else does it first and, probably, better. The sucker punch was all the more sneaky because the abysmally hacky title left me expecting so much less.

It was a common phenomenon in the churches of my childhood after guest-speakers armed with Power-Point presentations would mount the pulpit at your local youth retreat. They'd ruin your good-times vibe by telling you how rock'n'roll was Satan's soundtrack. As evidence, they'd whip out their highlight reel, in which Yoko Ono's "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss" played backwards purportedly hissed "6-6-6." To the untrained ear, it sounded more like "cyst, cyst, cyst." It left us Christian kids disillusioned, confused, and wondering who in their right mind would listen to Yoko Ono forward, let alone backwards.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I hope you include just as many snide rightist asides.

Or you could end-up like this Belgian fellow: http://www.imageandnarrative.be/worldmusicb_advertising/koenstroeken.htm

"The goal of [Christian Rap] is precisely to make realistic what previously seemed absurd"

Hence my "different perspective."

This reminds me the piece Labash wrote about the Minutemen a few months ago. As with that story, I didn't come away agreeing with Labash -- Bradlee, though a nice guys, seems at least as off his rocker as the unidentified members of the left-wing blogosphere Labash mocks -- but I also didn't come away all worked up, either. Some might see Labash's soft-sell approach as insidious, as if he's trying to convince you that dangerous people are actually harmless. But I think he just has an affection for the genial cranks -- the very sincere, mostly (but not completely) harmless, incredible talkative types that are the lifeblood of fringe movements.

Labash and Jon Ronson should exchange notes sometime.


The Weekly Standard is slipping:

"who in their right mind would listen to Yoko Ono forward, let alone backwards."?

"Backwards" with the "s" is a Britishism, which coming from a leading conservative publication would be understandable/excusable, but it's simply unacceptable to have "backwards" and "forward" in the same sentence. Seems like mighty liberal copy-editing to me.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2